The Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) hosted its annual Chinese New Year lunch recently at New York Hotel. Lunch for all 48 OKU members of JARO was sponsored by the hotel; a generous courtesy offered for the past seven years.
The JARO building at Jalan Sungai Chat is undergoing a RM1.8 million renovation to improve its facilities, and more OKU-friendly in collaboration with ThinkCity. With ThinkCity’s donation of RM500,000, they are currently sourcing for funds for another RM600,000.
Formed in 1952, JARO was originally a rehabilitation centre for cured TB patients to learn trade and handicraft. Today, it empowers people with learning or physical disabilities by training them with paid skills, mainly in hand-stitched leather bookbinding, rattan weaving, and tailoring, stimulated in a working environment such as having punch cards for entry and having their salaries deducted for being late. In his speech before the luncheon, Chairman Dato Jimmy Low said that the jobs provided them a sense of “dignity and being a part of the society.”
The lunch event also saw angpows distributed to the disabled, and a renewal and new-commitment cheques of RM5000 were received as a part of the JARO OKU Adoption Programme. The programme enables an ‘adoption’ or support and sustainability of one disabled person at JARO at RM5000 for one year. JARO sends reports and progress of the individual ‘adopted’ person to the contributor, also known as a friend of JARO. Out of the 48 OKU members, 15 have been ‘adopted’ in the programme.
Running at a cost of RM60000 per month, JARO still depends on the goodwill and charitable donations from the public and corporate entities. JARO plans to launch their newly renovated building during the Hari Raya period.